Impeachment fever spreads

By John Seeley 05/03/2007

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Overcoming the reluctance of state and national party leaders, grassroots Democrat delegates forced the issue of impeachment onto the floor at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego last weekend.

Bucking the stance of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has declared impeachment is “off the table,” party faithful, led by Progressive Democrats of America and its allies, swung the convention behind a resolution calling on Congress to use its subpoena power for “vigorous investigation” of alleged misdeeds by President Bush and Vice President Cheney and to hold the administration accountable “with appropriate remedies and punishment, including impeachment.” 

The resolution cites actions "subversive of the Constitution” by Bush and Cheney, including  using false information to justify the invasion of Iraq,  authorizing POW torture, authorizing warrantless wiretaps on US citizens, outing a CIA operative, suspending habeas corpus and circumventing hundreds of statutes through presidential  “signing statements."

While outrage over Bush-Cheney policies was nearly universal, many Democrats had doubts about the tactical wisdom of the impeachment course.

John Hanna of Orange, a college district trustee and member of the convention's resolutions committee, spoke for many in suggesting Democrats were better off facing the 2008 elections with the unpopular duo still heading the other party. The Clinton impeachment, he noted, boomeranged on its Republican proponents.

Then there's the "who first?" question. Veteran Pasadena Democratic activist Ralph McKnight told the Weekly that Cheney's removal should be the priority and would reduce the threat of wider war.

As several cynics noted, "If Cheney's out, then Bush becomes president."

However, Hanna and others asked, why give Bush the chance to name a more appealing replacement that might even save GOP prospects in 2008?

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